To me, the iPod Classic is the best MP3 player ever made. When Apple EOL-ed it, I was crushed! I liked the design because you operate it using the dial and not a touchscreen. This means that you can use the device while it is in your pocket and walking, or in the dark, laying on your bed enjoying the music. With the touch interface of the replacement design, you have to look at the screen to carry out any operation. Which in the dark, makes you feel like a deer in the headlight of a car, each time you want to do something. Sure, you may use a headset with controls, but those do not work for me. But the iPod Classic is not perfect. It has a ticking bomb at its core: a mini hard drive! Because it has mechanical components, it will die on you, as my Gen 6 did a few years ago. I am using since a Gen 7 iPod Classic, knowing that I am on borrowed time.
Drop the Drive
To prepare for the worst, I decide to experiment with my defunct Gen6 and see if I can revive it (and get rid of the hard drive once for all). There are many solutions out there to do precisely that. I went with the iflash SD card drive replacement. Attention if you decide to do the same, you will have to do your homework and identify precisely your model. Indeed, it is straightforward to pick incompatible products. For example, the firmware of the Gen6 can handle only that much files (so no need to go for the quad micro-SD model) but needs a longer ribbon cable because of the thickness of the hard drive. And by the way, you are solely responsible for any damage you will make.
Open It Up
The most challenging part is to open the Gen6. It is far from being trivial. I recommend spending some time on the web to watch videos on the topic. Hard to do if you want to limit the damage made to the case of your iPod. Once open, beware not to break the ribbon cables! Stop, and carefully remove the connectors. After, it is a straightforward replacement. Use the opportunity to admire the compact design of the beast. I took many pictures so you can judge by yourself. At this point, I did the hardware part of the operation, and I am struggling with the SW. Indeed, I tried multiple SD cards – all on the known to be compatible models, but the FW stubbornly refuses them. I will keep you posted on my success or failure in a follow-up post.